Health Watch – Happy New Year: One More Resolution

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

When you're making your resolutions for the new year, there's one more you should consider: a simple daily task that could help save your life. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you should resolve to floss your teeth daily.

Flossing helps eliminate plaque between teeth. That helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. And preventing gum disease could help prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that inflammation increases the risk for heart disease, and the inflammation of diseased gums could lead to inflammation throughout the body. Gum disease could raise levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream, which can cause inflamed coronary arteries and lead to heart disease.

So, it's possible that taking a few minutes every night to floss your teeth could help you prevent a life-threatening disease.

Next on Healthwatch: Having a safe New Year's Eve.


Dec. 2004